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Iraq Hangs Convicted Militants Amid Criticism

Iraq says it has hanged 26 people convicted of terrorism offenses.

Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimari said in a statement on January 21 that Adel al-Mashhadani, a Sahwa militia leader in Baghdad was among the individuals executed two days previously.

The Sahwa (Awakening) militias are formed mostly of Sunni Muslim tribesmen and helped U.S. troops roll back an Al-Qaeda-led insurgency in Iraq starting in 2006.

Violence in Iraq has surged in the past year to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shi'a sectarian bloodshed that peaked in 2006-07, when many thousands of people were killed.

In its annual world report published on January 21, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said that Iraq hanged at least 151 people in 2013, up from 129 in 2012 and 68 in 2011.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, and AP